Garden and Landscape Design Cornwall Looe Hannafore

Cliff edge garden

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Copyright COAST Magazine


This garden is featured in the April 2010 edition of COAST magazine.

"A steep site, poor soil and salt-laden wind were just what this couple were looking for when they took on this garden in Cornwall. Oh, and the incredible sea views"

Sheer genius
Words Stephanie Donaldson Photographs Sarah Cuttle

You can read the COAST magazine article in PDF format here.


Rock Ledge Garden

Rock Ledge house is located in Hannafore, Looe, in Cornwall. It is on a high ledge of a rocky promontory overlooking the sea to the northeast, east, southeast, south and southwest, and Looe Harbour to the north and northwest, its vulnerable to winds from these directions.

Although the ground rises considerably to the rear of the property, towards the northwest, it affords very little protection from the southwesterly winds. In this exposed position, the house has the benefit of stunning views over the sea, island, harbour, town, hills, coast, and up river to the north.


River view from the garden


The Outline Plan


The garden is situated higher than the house on the Ledge at Hannafore. Its frontage faces northeast; the corner of the house and garden take the full brunt of salt laden easterly winds coming directly off the sea. The rocky spine of the centre garden slopes steeply up northwest behind the house, meaning that very few parts of the garden are completely wind free.



The garden

The garden is above the house in an exposed position


The slope up the garden

The easterly wind velocity is reduced where the wind initially impacts the corner of the house and garden, lifting diagonally over the house. This area is planted with clipped Grisilinia, Fagus, Cupressocyparis 'Castlewellan Gold', Buxus and Escallonia. Shelter forms downwind (up the slope sideways), as the wind lift affords low shelter for the plants.

The wind lifts upward off the ground, off the longer steep slope, and uplifts continue to extend and hold up the main wind thrust above the ground. As the wind in turn hits the higher cross slope and a steeper section of angled fissured rock, it balls up against rock whilst still powered from the sea. It thrusts high over the top of the orchard and the greenhouse, leaving them protected.

The wind eventually dumps sea salts in the gorse and heathland to the west, and continues landwards, where the uplifts are no longer powered from the sea.

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